From the NY Times:
Chinese companies have already played a leading role in pushing down the price of solar panels by almost half over the last year. Shi Zhengrong, the chief executive and founder of China’s biggest solar panel manufacturer, Suntech Power Holdings, said in an interview here that Suntech, to build market share, is selling solar panels on the American market for less than the cost of the materials, assembly and shipping.
So, that's the stage we're setting. There is an industry which is obviously going to be a tremendous driver of growth. But is the US a driver? No. Let's look at why:
Backed by lavish government support, the Chinese are preparing to build plants to assemble their products in the United States to bypass protectionist legislation. As Japanese automakers did decades ago, Chinese solar companies are encouraging their United States executives to join industry trade groups to tamp down anti-Chinese sentiment before it takes root.
This doesn't happen in the US. Why? There is a contingent of incredibly stupid people in this place called Washington. They typically have an "R" after their name. According to their political ideology, this is "picking winners" which the market is supposed to do. So, instead od pouring money into a sector that is growing we're left with nothing.
But wait -- there's more:
Since March, Chinese governments at the national, provincial and even local level have been competing with one another to offer solar companies ever more generous subsidies, including free land, and cash for research and development. State-owned banks are flooding the industry with loans at considerably lower interest rates than available in Europe or the United States.
There is another party in the US called the Democratic party. And their vocal minority that seems to get all the press is very anti-business. Working with corporations is bad and evil; money was invented by Satan to corrupt our souls. Profits are terrible and horrible and should be avoided.
This is why other countries get ahead of us. They don't listen to the screamers on either side of the political aisle.